had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

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tamiyadan
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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:29 am

a new cdrom from the junk pile and i found a XP compatible wifi card from the junk pile and thus got the machine going a little better.
i can input data from the 35BL and print it. also import into Excel.

machine needs more memory have to see what i can find.

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by R Cane » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:43 am

If you don't find any, I've got some older memory that might work, depending upon what type you need...

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by matt1ptkn » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:57 am

Its a lot of work to have this much fun. :lol:
Matt

Just a part of my RC collection: Matt1ptkn's Toys

"I wish there was a way to tell you're in the good old days, before you've actually left them."

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:35 pm

i went through about 50 ram chips at the office, i found only 2 DDR-400 pc3200 chips which was 512mb no better then what i have now...
thus hit amazon... got 2x2GB DDR-400 chips,, then i also bought some 2x4GB chips it was around 50$ so I'll take the risk, the motherboard might not support that much ram.

crossing fingers :)

If the 4GB works then i will have better specs then my laptop which i have been using to make the battery artwork.

as a side note i got my Basic working and was having a blast trying to remember commands from 25+ years ago.
I wrote a R/C management program in 1989-1990 which incorporated a battery graph, motor dyno graph, gear ratio helper, and some speed and rpm predictors, my saved files from that time still work also, i have torque curves for the old trinity 427 motor.

the whole program is crap now looking at it but hey i was 13-14 years old on a IBM PC XT.

the funniest part is my Okidata 192ML from 1984 is now printing under windows XP.

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:12 pm

my acrylic plastic finally came in.
Image
Image
Image
Image

makes it easier to read the blue leds and it makes it have a finished look

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:56 pm

Image

i just remembered windows XP could not address more then 3.25BG of ram

oh well no way the 2x4GB simms will work.. hopefully the 2x2GBs are accepted in this old motherboard.

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:34 am

This is what madness looks like.


Witness me.
Image

Mediocre for some.
Image

[youtube]UZ4GyC0waBY[/youtube]

these are first basic programs I've written in 26 years.

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:53 pm

new test:

4 old exactly the same 6cell 2000MAH Nicd battery packs. all the batteries have basically sat for years, and had zero voltage output

i put them on the charger and brought them back to life, as long as all the cells were good. so i tossed out some stick packs with bad cells as they are pointless.

so 4 battery packs labeled A,B,C,D what i will do is aggressively use the charger to break down crystals in the battery and mark if there is any improvement.

so going by what i learned, you have to get the batteries hot, but not to the point of venting over 200 degrees
reflex is pretty much your only option. and higher amperage to drive the heat up during the phase of attempting to get some life back into these batteries.

the batteries all appear to have Panasonic P cells inside with the purple heat shrink.

the packs have been modified to work with my stick pack balance tray, they have not been modified to have a low amperage probe connection so the work around is just to tie the connections together but away from the direct battery connection point to try and get a reading in a lower amperage area.

so the idea is aggressively charge these old batteries and cycle them at what they can tolerate which is about 20 amps right now for discharge.

reflex set to 9 charge set to 6 amps, 5.40 cutoff 20 amp discharge.

Baselines:
A:
Discharge time 110
ave volts 5.86
IR 455
dis: 20 amps


B:
Discharge time 99
ave volts 5.90
IR 418
dis: 20 amps

C:
Discharge time 147
ave volts 5.88
IR 415
dis: 20 amps

D:
Discharge time 114
ave volts 5.95
IR 394
dis: 20 amps



Note all IR is very high Ideally you want IR to be under 200, but even with the good cells i get readings from 215-295 from charge to charge.

around 400 the cell is considered wasted. so the question is how much can IR drop using the information people say you should do.
and will the cell get some recovery.

the cells will be allowed to cool to room temperature between cycles.

cross fingers.

----additional
you can also tell right away if a pack is wasted or not. if the voltage is reading zero, put it on the charger for like 5 seconds the voltage will instantly come up. read the volt meter, if you see less then 7 volts you know 1 or more cells are just 100% internally shorted or dried out.
you can either decide to fix that pack or throw it out. unless it is for display throw it out.

some people also asked what is venting and why is it bad.

Venting is when the cell builds up internal gas and has to release it or the cell will explode.
the cells have little vents on the positive terminal side that allow out-gassing.
the gas is from the water inside the cells(part of its chemistry) boiling into steam. this happens when the cell gets above water boiling temperatures. the more water loss the more internal damage to the cell. thus venting is not a good thing it is a safety measure.
this is why they tell you not to let the cells go above 225 degrees. so you have to watch over charging or too high an amperage for charge or discharge. many people also made the mistake during soldering of accidentally covering these vents in solder.

now over time besides bad cell maintenance the water evaporates thus a cell 30 years old just sitting will just go bad, or have massively reduced function.

you know eat right, exercise, take care of yourself, die anyway.

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:20 pm

findings.

i finished cycling A at this point
i made the last cycle less aggressive

last A cycle:
discharge time 143
ave volts 5.91
IR 414
discharge 20

First A cycle:
Discharge time 110
ave volts 5.86
IR 455
dis: 20 amps


improvement wise yeah a very small movement, but the cell still cannot take a heavy discharge cycle as the MAH is around 794(first cycle was 611)
so if you figure the original mah is 2000 then you have a cell functioning at less then 40% capacity, even after a heavy cycling with as much crystal break down as possible.

here is what i put together based on the test and results i see, paraphrasing a combined knowledge on NICD:


Cells fail in a number of ways. As a cell ages, its internal resistance increases.
This is due to separator and electrolyte breakdown. There is nothing you can do to reverse this.

If a cell has been stored for a long period of time, you can get dendrite growth that basically shorts the cell out.
You can blow those dendrites out, but you still have a hole in the separator,
where new dendrites will begin immediately forming. The basic symptom of this is high self discharge.
Separator damage can not be fixed through charge/discharge cycling.

High internal resistance is usually caused by oxidation damage to either the electrolyte or the electrodes, or both.
This is not something that can be repaired and it is time to recycle the cell and replace it.

The key to battery recovery is to recognize why the battery is not performing up to its potential, and then
realizing if it is something that can be recovered, or if the battery is simply ready to be retired.

pushing or zapping a cell, is going to blow holes in the separators which is why the IR drops and voltage goes up slightly and mah drops, these cells will grow dendrite faster and in this case.
constant reflex charging will help reduce IR over the life of the cell
which will be reduced due to the process of zapping or pushing.
more performance as a trade for life expectancy.

If you find a old cell is performing on its first cycle at about 90% then continued cycling may bring that cell back.
but a cell performing at 50% should go right into the trash.

Typically internal resistance will give you where the cell is in it's life span.
0-100, excellent
100-200 good
200-300 ok
300-400 marginal
400-500+ junk.

Flatline trays are good on new cells where you have given them memory you should probably use it once and as a last resort. it will decrease MAH and the life span of the cells.

So in conclusion i feel that all those countless websites saying how you can bring dead cells back is BS. you can never bring a dead old cell back to new condition.
that doesn't mean the cell is worthless or you can't use it. even a 20 year old Cell can output power but you will not get 3 minutes of run time out of it at high amp draw. you can charge up your old racing packs and drive around for 1-2 minutes that would be all i would expect out of the pack at 5-20 amps when it is reduced to under 90% capacity.

thus throw out your old packs and get new ones. you really need a pack balancer of some kind and stick to the R/C industry set standards for charging which is higher for Nicds SCR and lower for NIMH batteries. Nimh suffer more from general degeneration then nicds.
so both types will just go bad over time and capacity and IR is a good indicator of when to throw it out in general battery maintenance.

for Matched packs the standards are higher so just like in the old days you have to rematch them often and replace cells that fall below the average of the other cells.

building the packs better from the start will of course give you the best results over the life of the pack.


for a matched pack, the best recommendation is cycle new cells 4-5 times not 2-3 times. cycle them at R/c industry standard to setup memory from the start if using NicDs, that will give you the most stable cell numbers to base your pack builds on. Silver solder is a must. connections with the least resistance will give you packs that come as close as possible to averages based on the cell matching label information. there is no magical charger setting that will increase performance after pack assembly. that said yes it is possible to increase voltage or lower IR in a pack but you will damage the MAH. with larger MAH batteries this may not matter i mean really if you have a 8000MAH battery in a 10 minute race then knocking it to 6000MAH won't matter and you will have extra voltage and more punch.
stick and 7 cell or hump batteries are VERY difficult to deal with as far as balancing before charge.
memory setup is important in tailoring a battery to stock or modified motors.

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:57 pm

on the old windows box:
The memory came, amazingly the motherboard actually took the 2x4GB pieces, so the bios is showing 8BG and the os is showing 3.35GB or 3.25GB usable.
I turned on the 3GB option for applications in the boot.ini file. this is all trying to keep the system 32 bit and not 64 bit even though the machine has a 64 bit cpu and is windows 7 64bit ready, i could of also switched XP to 64bit but then all the 32 bit applications would get hosed and I'm not running this stuff in dos box or the 32 bit emulator because they are awful.

so after farting around i finally got the machine to stop thrashing the hard-drive and trying to make memory page files constantly. it runs much better still horrible as if i play a HD youtube video the sound studders. note never buy a computers with AMD processors to save a few bucks, that is part of the reason this system ended up in the trash years ago to start.

i got the Competition electronics Turbo label app working, it is pretty bad. basically you can do more with a modern version of Microsoft word then this custom built application.
it does have some nice integration features but that is about it.

if i get my GFX35 back from CE then i will have a nice way to capture live data with the pc.
that is about it... the basic programs i wrote were just for fun to see what i could remember.
i have not programmed much since about 2002... wow 14 years.
I don't miss it :D

---------
I have to say i learned a bunch more about batteries in general that could of helped me 25+ years ago, and mistakes i made or had been making, and updated my information, learned about NIMH batteries since i never really used them as the come into the hobby after i basically left. i guess the next thing is deciding if i care about LIPO and LIFE battery technology.

---------
well the cool part is i went through all my old batteries and 95% of them are junk, which means i get to cut them apart for free stick pack construction kits.

i will be making that copper stick pack soon and i will post results.

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:02 pm

I got the GFX35 back from CE with the 4.10 upgrade.
CE fixed the Serial port on it..
i got a new overlay as well for LIPO ready
total cost was about 67$

the impression i got was we really don't want to deal with these old chargers anymore, so if you have been thinking about an upgrade i would do it this year.
they will basically only do the bare minimum of work on the chargers unless you ask them something specifically. this is kind of annoying if you have an issue you are not aware of, like if the fan isn't working anymore or you have split wire insulation, or something internally is wrong but you are the 3rd owner and thought that was just how it worked.

they also do not have a lot of testing equipment anymore thus they discontinued repairs on features. i kind of had a back and forth about getting the serial port working again. turned out a chip had blown they could not test the repair nor guarantee it. i told them just replace the chipset and i'll deal with the testing.

the 4.10 upgrade was made available in 2012 so you are now 4 years later keep that in mind.
the charger originally appeared in 2002, so you have a product 14 years old now.

the firmware works better then the 3.61 version as well you can now switch battery modes without disconnecting main power to reset.
the menu is also less flaky then before.

The serial port on the GFX35 works very different from previous models, it was not designed for old printer output like the manual talks about.

it seems as the last version CE made, it is computer data port only.

so you have to pull everything from the serial port using a capture program then filter it into something like EXCEL.
that crappy basic program i wrote couldn't interface with the serial port when the GFX35 was attached it returned a port error.
so you can see how different the serial port is on the GFX35.

I will try a live capture with the unit in the future.

well everything has an end so again if you have been on the fence about service or upgrades to a stealth 35bl or a GFX35 i would do it this year.

due to how CE requires payment for service i will offer this tip: get a VISA gift card and put 100$ on it, do not use your primary credit card, better to use a gift card and put a limited amount on it.

all in all i want to thank CE for servicing my charger and also helping me identify the type of Turbo Dyno i have.

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by makoman1860 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:22 pm

Hell Dan!
I love this thread, I left R/C racing when brushless and Lipo came into being simply because the romance was gone for me. Then again I was the engineer type and not the "driver" type so I almost enjoyed the tinkering more than the actual racing anyway. My first cells were the 1200SCR's so I dont go as far back as some here, but far enough back I guess :). One thing that I always did, that the guys from CE rarely talked about was formatting the new cells prior to cycling and testing. I set up a board to charge I think it was 15 cells at a time at a C/10 rate for 16-18 hours (overcharging), and then a C/10 discharge to .9v per cell. Then I would cycle them on the Victor or CE to begin matching. I found that if I formatted them the results were much more consistent on the first cycle, and subsequent checks showed much less drift in cell performance. Much like you found, the R/C community was fed bits of info here and there, just enough to be dangerous. I ended up getting most of my information from Sanyo directly at the time, who I found out had a strong interest in our sport, and knew a lot more about pushing those cells than they led on. BTW I love the stick pack discharger adapter! If you ever make any others for sale count me in!
-Aaron

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:29 pm

Hey aaron,

Awesome info thanks for the posting. I think i was the same, my tinker skills exceeded my driving skills lol.

one thing that i get confused on is the industry adopting C instead of A. I'm old so i never made the change from Standard to metric so to speak.

so by C/10 rate do you mean 0.1 Amp charge and discharge? I know i had read about this method the idea being getting the new cells going since they would always sit for months before being bought.

I know a long period charge and discharge was a good way to nuke the dendrite crystals(memory).
Heat seems to play a bigger roll in NICDs then people thought, NIMH do not like heat, but with NICD getting them to 120-130 degrees helped melt crystals.
so a long overcharge heating up the cells would of helped big in that regard.

the long discharge method was part of the reasoning behind Flatline trays where you put a discharged to .9 volts battery on the flatline tray for a slow discharge to zero volts.

the flatline tray kept the cell from recovering and you would stack batteries on these trays and leave them for a week. on recharge the batteries would have increased voltage and some MAH loss, the IR was suppose to be lower as well.

a big mistake people made with flatline trays was putting a fully charged pack on these, that was a big NONO you needed to have the cells discharged to a balanced level of .9volts or lower then put them on the trays.

there is also the method of random discharge cut off below .9 volts to shock the battery and again break down crystal formation. you had to constantly trick the NICDS batteries so they would forget the memory they built up. this was something i never had time for back in the day you just kept the same program running on the cells and cycled them the same fire and forget, when really you needed to fire and forget for the event but randomize your cycles during the off time to get more out of the cells.

more information :D is boss!

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by makoman1860 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:03 pm

Hey Dan,
"C" being oem rated cell capacity ( i.e. 1700 mAh SCRC cells ). The C/10 charge rate is 1/10th the capacity, so for the hypothetical 1700SCRC cells it would be 170 mA current. The charge effeciency of Nicds is only about 65% at this rate, so thats why you charge for more than 10 hours. Apparently when the cells are made they are only charged to about 60% capacity to check for any major issues and to prevent storage issues by letting them self discharge in storage at 100% charge capacity. Saves money/time on their part too. So the initial conversion and full plating of the cathode still needs to take place, and aparently this is best done slow than fast. Seemed to work really well to bring back old cells as well. Now the discharge thing. the Sanyo engineers told me to do a 5C ( 8.5amp on the 1700SCRC cells) discharge on the cells to .9v per cell, then switch to a C/10 (170 mAh for the 1700 SCRC) discharge rate to .4v per cell. Finally do the individual cell shorting for storage. The slow low voltage discharge was apparently the key to breaking up the plating rather than the low voltage alone. Follow this with a C/10 charge the day before the race, cycle at the fast charge/discharge rate once or twice and go racing. Granted I think this did not give you the first few seconds of punch that you could get by hammering the cells, however they seemed to hold higher voltage throughout the discharge better, so by mid race they were more peppy than a hammered pack. As for increasing the pack life, I still have two 1700SCRC packs that pull 30 amps and have measured capacity of 1640 mAh....not too shabby for 20 year old cells. I managed to buy a never run 1200SCR set of cells a month ago that were manufacturered in 1991. Two C/10 charge/discharge cycles followed by 3 standard cycles brought them back from the dead to 1170mAh capacity at 20 amps. Im sure if I would have hit them with 5amps they would have popped, however they had never been abused so im sure that helped.
-Aaron

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Re: had to remind myself of the pain.... NICD batteries.

Post by tamiyadan » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:24 pm

awesome Aaron thank you.

that is great on the old cells only a 2% loss from sitting all that time.
i found you can tell on the first cycle if an old cell will be good or trash. if you are cycling with a loss of 20% chuck em.

they are all going to lose water over time that is the big factor, the more a battery vented the less capacity in the future. so a new battery never abused and stored well should not of lost that much water.

i know people that also took care of there NICDS and also have batteries 20 years old that are still going. they would slow charge at the recommended on the label and cycle every so often.

basically the big myth i found is when you have an old used cell that using a magical charge or discharge method you could bring it back, many websites talk about this. there is basically nothing of the kind. i could take a shorted cell, drive 90 volts into it and make it read 1.1 volts on the meter but the MAH is basically under 50 so any load on them at all sends them to zero. water loss and corroded plates there is no repair for, once those occur inside the cell there is nothing to be done other then display them for historic reasons. but if you had cells stored inside a air tight bag and it stayed stable then they could go longer then 20 years... NICD doesn't react to zero voltage like NIMH do... NIMH batteries at zero volts causes damage reducing MAH forever.

i recently took a NICD 2000 pack i had run in 1997 and brought it back, i managed 1700 mah out of it. that is a 15% loss, that is most likely not recoverable from. if i factor in the amount of times that pack was vented running my MX-4 in competition then i'm actually surprised it came back that far. the IR was good but at 20% being junk this battery pack is marginal, i was able to cycle it at 30 amps and i tell you i was surprised i got as much out of it as i did.

in the same lot the second 2000 7 cell pack i have when cycled showed 2 cells that had died forever. in that case the remaining cells were showing about 20% loss i could find replacement cells for the 2000 and install them to bring the pack back but they would be beyond matching anyway and pointless better just leave them for display.

in the future i will try cell formatting i want to get a box of 1900MAH cells and go nuts :D

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